In the second season premiere of the beautiful Canadian dramedy Kind of, Sabi Mehboob (Bilal Baig) expresses the hope of finding ‘normal love’. When asked what that phrase means, Sabi explains, “You know: easy, straight forward — probably what Rachel McAdams has.”
Regardless of what Rachel McAdams actually deals with in that department, Sabi’s own love life — and their life in general — is often difficult and complicated. They are the twenties, gender fluid child of Pakistani immigrants. They work as nannies for the children of Paul (Gray Powell) and Bessy (Grace Lynn Kung), mix drinks in a queer bar/bookstore, and struggle to find a partner who will accept every aspect of them. “If I go one way, it’s bad,” they once lamented the challenge of fitting in with friends, loved ones, and family. And yet, “If I go another way, it’s bad.”
In the first season, Sabi was preparing to leave Toronto with artistic best friend 7ven (Amanda Cordner) when Bessy had a bike accident and ended up in a coma, inspiring Sabi to give up their own dreams to help. In the new season, Bessy has finally woken up, but to a life she only vaguely remembers and seems to have a strong dislike for – much to the consternation of the eternally amusing, confused Paul. And while Sabi’s mother (Ellora Patnaik) has accepted their gender identity, their father (Dhirendra) returns from overseas business and still calls himself and Sabi ‘father and son’.
So things are messy everywhere, and that’s before we get to Sabi and 7ven trying to save the bar from financial ruin, or 7ven dating an insufferable Instagram influencer, or Sabi’s sister Aqsa (Supinder Wraich) flirting with a ‘nephew ‘ which she’s not really related to, or… well, you get the idea. The show (created by Baig and Fab Filippo) continues to deftly juggle silliness and sadness, often in the same scene.
“To love someone,” an imam tells Sabi and their father, “you have to understand them.” Because Kind of works so hard to understand each of his characters, it’s very easy to love.
The first two episodes of Kind of Season two begins streaming on HBO Max on December 1, with two additional episodes each Thursday through December 22. I’ve seen all eight episodes.